“My Pleasure” and Other Lessons from Chick-fil-A

They refused to hire me! Really?

A few years ago, I took a step of faith and returned to the Dallas area so my wife could be closer to her father and sister during a time she was needed. The move was one done by faith and without a job in sight for either of us, and it would take a while for me to find one. My wife found one quickly, for her skill set is in so much higher demand than mine, especially in corporate filled areas like Dallas.

But it was a new experience for me – applications, mostly silence, a few interviews, and repeated rejections. Even Chick-fil-A turned me down.

Over educated? Too old? Who knows. My first CFA interview was awkward for the interviewer. She, a Millennial half my age in mid-management, openly said she didn’t know how to proceed with one such as me. I told her to do what she does with all applicants. So she asked what I wanted to do when I grow up. Ha. I answered, then I asked her the same question. Maybe that’s why I was passed by.

I eventually got a few transitional jobs and one of them was at another CFA. That year there was a blessing. I hope I was a blessing to them as well. I learned some great life lessons I will share as we head into 2020. Maybe one is something you need to hear.

  • Learn to say “My Pleasure” … staying positive is key. Let them know you are delighted to serve and help wherever you can. I still say this now almost every time someone says thank you. The mantra is now part of my life, and I am glad it is.
  • Stop Restocking … cleaning and restocking takes place in any free moment. There are always places and products needing our attention, but people are priority. Stop doing the secondary and take care of the primary – and people are priority. Avoid tyranny of the urgent.
  • Know what you stand for … great food, inviting environment, family friendly, and more. These are important but CFA always keeps its mission front and center. And in a world where it seems we are more concerned about what we are against, it is a wake up call to be reminded it should be about what we are for.

To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A (mission statement)
  • Take time to play … the play area is part of CFAs everywhere. Free WiFi. But it is more than this. They are closed on Sundays for workers to spend time with family, worship, or just play. Playing goes beyond the space they create for kids. It’s for their workers too.
  • Keep in touch … CFA keeps the line of communication flowing between employees, management, and the company. Scheduling apps, group texting, inter-employee connections, management’s phone numbers, and more. Now, if you’re technologically challenged, you’re out of luck. Jethro Gibbs may have an issue with his flip phone.
  • Don’t be afraid to be different … it’s okay to be counter cultural, to go against the flow. In a burger driven quick food society, chicken sandwiches were different. Closed Sunday? Who does that, even in malls? Embrace the differences, and do it professionally, politely, and expertly. Don’t back away from it – be transformed by it.

These are just a few. I hope you can be challenged in your personal life, your profession, and your place of worship.

To the family that had mercy and hired me at CFA Frisco, it was my pleasure to work with you. May your tribe increase.

Happy New Year people.


Post script … I am upset that Santa didn’t honor my Christmas wish. Now that I’m back in heartland Virginia, CFA is a bit far. Appomattox is still without a CFA. So off to Lynchburg I go.

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